Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.
We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.
At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Saia Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.
On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.
Today we’re going to talk about a healthy soul or spiritual heart. Believe it or not you are a spirit, you have a soul and they live in your body. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you are born again and you have a new spirit but your soul or spiritual heart has not changed. This is why many Christians keep sinning, doing stupid things, making bad decisions, depressed, angry, lonely and many wrong feelings.
So how do we attain a healthy soul or spiritual heart. God teaches us in His word.
Proverbs 4:23, NIV: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Jesus announced: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
One positive result from maturity in a believer is not being tricked by false teaching. Those who are “no longer children” can stand against lies and deceit. Paul’s analogy of being “tossed to and fro by the waves” sounds like James 1:6, which instructs us to pray in faith without doubting. Jude 1:13 also uses the idea of “wild waves of the sea.” The goal is to avoid being “carried about by every wind of doctrine.” False teaching changes regularly. Those who are immature can easily be fooled into thinking false teaching is accurate.
Ephesians 4:14, NIV: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
This can take place in two ways. First, believers can be deceived by “human cunning.” This is the power of human persuasion; a smooth talker can wield influence over others. Second, a person can be deceived by “craftiness in deceitful schemes.” These are evil plans that may appear good but actually promote something false. In Ephesians 6:11 Paul will add that believers can “Put on the whole armor of God, that [they] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
James 1:8, NIV: “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
This verse completes a crucial idea which James introduced in verse 5. God promises wisdom to all who ask Him for it. He promises to give it generously and not based on our merit. The caveat is that we must believe and not doubt. We must not seek wisdom from sources contrary to God at the same time, expecting to weigh God’s wisdom against others and decide which we will follow. We can consult godly advisors, and look to God’s creation, but we can’t weigh His wisdom against that of the world before we decide who to trust.
Verse 7 made it clear that a doubtful person—the one who treats God as only one of many options—should not expect to receive any wisdom from God. This verse calls that person both double-minded and unstable. Trying to live by God’s wisdom while also following a form of “wisdom” from another source will always lead us in two different directions. We will always be deciding whose wisdom feels more right to us in any given moment. In that way, we end up making a god of our own ability to pick the “right” wisdom from day to day.
James makes it clear that the only stable life is one in which a believer has resolved to follow God’s wisdom—period. Those who trust the Father seek wisdom from the Father and follow the wisdom the Father gives, no matter what.
Matthew 11:28, NIV: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 29,”Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus is not talking about physical rest, necessarily. The following verse will describe it as rest for the soul. The path to the Father through Jesus is not one of weary labor and heavy work. Jesus’ earlier analogy about the path to life being narrow and “difficult” (Matthew 7:14) is entirely separate, and speaking from a different perspective. From the view of the world, following Christ means taking on difficult circumstances and giving up worldly pleasures. From the view of eternity—of salvation—following Christ means giving up the impossible task of carrying our own sin.
A yoke is a wooden device used to harness the working power of an animal, especially oxen. These could be made for a single animal, or to combine the power of several. Jewish people described living under obedience to the Law as having a yoke upon them. In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees made that load even heavier by adding manmade requirements and regulations on top of the Law of Moses (Matthew 23:4).
Now He elaborates, inviting these listeners to put His yoke on them.
The implication is to allow Jesus to put His own yoke on us, the way a farmer would put one on his livestock. It means giving Jesus control and letting Him direct our efforts. The work He has will not be difficult, Jesus says. He wants them to learn from Him. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus insists that He is gentle. He is lowly in heart (Philippians 2:6–7). He has not come to add to their burden but to give them rest for their souls.
Hebrews 4:9, KJV: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Here, the point is made that since God’s seventh day Sabbath rest from creation (Hebrews 4:3–4) is ongoing, the “rest” He offers is available right now, to those willing to trust and obey.
Here are sermons from Pastors Nathan and Salia Gonmei at Abundance Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand teaching us in this 3 part series on A Healthy Soul. the sermons are in both English and Thai so you can share with your Thai friends.